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Is it okay to leave a sleeping baby alone in the house for a couple of minutes?

My neighbor and I both have two young children. The younger kids still take naps but the older kids do not. The chance for the older kids to get together and play usually takes place during naptime for the younger kids. So either her or I will quickly walk the older child to the other's home while the younger kids are sleeping. It is only a few houses away and takes two to five minutes at most. I always feel incredibly guilty leaving my sleeping son alone in the house even for a couple of minutes. Is it okay to do this?

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:06 PM on Oct. 13, 2008 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (18)
  • I think it's fine. I have to take my dog out and it's easier to do when my baby's asleep rather than having to bring the baby too. I just always make sure to lock the door (I live in a condo complex).

    Answer by flalbert at 5:11 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • I think it's one of those things only you can decide is okay. Me not knowing your son, it's hard to judge if he's capable of being left at home alone for a short period of time.

    I do know, I was left alone a lot when I was younger, but I was smart to stay out of trouble lol.

    If you feel guilty get one of those long ranged baby monitors (do they make those?) and take it with you to the neighbors, just so you can be sure everything is okay.

    Answer by Smexkitten at 5:12 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • yea i think thats fine as long as theyre in a safe spot and you lock ur door.

    Answer by BabyGsMaMa13 at 5:13 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • I think it depends on your neighborhood.

    We live in a very safe, quiet town. If i have to take the trash out when my daughter is asleep then i do it..

    BUT i make sure i locked every door and the windows are closed. Even though it only takes 2-3 minutes to the big trash cans and back. And i always feel guilty too. I, for myself, wouldnt walk away from the house tho. Im way too anxious.


    Answer by m.robertson811 at 5:17 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • It all depends. Use a baby monitor, lock the doors, etc. It would be the same as going to get the mail while baby is sleeping, KWIM>

    Answer by MamaNikkiP at 5:52 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • Trust your gut. I'll take the garbage out while my baby is in bed or get the mail. I live in an apartment complex and I'm only gone for a minute. As long as your baby is safe (like in bed where s/he can't hurt him/herself) and it's only a minute, I don't think it's a problem. You don't want to leave for very long, though, because if there were an emergency like a fire, you'd need to be there.

    Answer by degsyuna at 6:10 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • I do it and feel guilty. I go outside to my laundry room and I am outside for about 10 minutes sometimes. But I know that while she is sleeping I can get the laundry done. I lock the doors and windows even though I am right in the carport.

    Answer by coala at 6:12 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • I'm sorry but you're all wrong. It's actually ILLEGAL to leave a child younger than 13 home without adult supervision; even if just for a minute. Let's say an out of control car crashes into your house during that one minute you've stepped away. YOU can be prosecuted for parental neglect, etc. The other concern I personally have with this, is what's to stop the parent from taking longer and longer times away. Instead of one or two minutes, now we're up to half an hour. It's dangerous, and you know what, since you're already feeling guilty about it, why do it? Plop the baby in a stroller, walk over a few minutes early; walk back, THEN put Baby to bed! It would do the baby good to get some fresh air, too!

    Answer by ChefMom94 at 6:24 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • are you frickin kidding me!!!!! i am SHOCKED to see how many ppl do that!! wrong wrong wroooong!!!!!!!!! if youre in your house or outside fine..but to leave the house COMPLETELY!! NOOO!!! it only takes 10 seconds for something bad to happen! can you honestly say youd feel ok with that if something, god forbid, happened!! im sorry, but thats not a chance im willing to take!

    Answer by alexis_06 at 7:07 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • I'll go outside while my son is sleeping to feed the dog or get something out of the car but I don't ever go any further than that. If I need to do something away from the house I wait until he's awake. I'm not saying no you absolutely should not do that but if you feel you're baby's safe then by all means do what you want.

    Answer by bassyentihw at 7:17 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

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